Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives

New South Wales

Division of New England


Tony Windsor (Ind)

His website

Phil Betts (Nat)

His Nationals website

Luke Brand (ALP)

His ALP website

Bruce Taylor (Grn)

His Greens website
Location: Northern NSW: Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell, Tamworth
Division named for: The New England region, first explored by John Oxley in 1818
Median weekly family income: $737 (133rd highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 2.5% (145th highest)
Persons of Indigenous origin: 5.6% (10th highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 30.2% (37th highest)
Persons engaged in agriculture: 16.7% (10th highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 14.2% (52nd highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 36.2% (104th highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 21.0% (120th highest)
Sitting member: Tony Windsor (Independent), elected 2001, 2004
Born: 2 September 1950, Quirindi, NSW. Career: Farmer. Independent NSW state MP for Tamworth 1991-2001
1996 two-party majority: National 19.2
1998 two-party majority: National 12.9
Effect of 2001 redistribution: 00.3 shift to Labor
2001 two-candidate majority: Independent over National 08.3
2004 primary votes: Labor 8.7, Liberal 10.0, National 18.7, Green 3.3,
Windsor 57.3
2004 two-candidate majority: Independent over National 21.0
Effect of 2006 redistribution: 05.8 shift to National *
2007 notional two-candidate majority: Independent over National 14.2
* This is a meaningless figure because Windsor cannot have polled any votes in 2004 in the areas which have been added to the seat.
2004 enrolment: 86,717
2007 enrolment: 91,395 (+05.4%) (new boundaries)
New England has existed since Federation, and has changed very little in its boundaries or in its social and economic character since. It has always occupied the New England plateau, based on Armidale and Tamworth, and since New England is a major woolgrowing region it has always been a highly agricultural seat. It has the relatively low level of median family income and the very low proportion of people born in non English speaking countries typical of rural seats, although its proportion of people in professional occupations is higher than in most rural seats, possibly because of the presence of the University of New England and various regional government offices in Armidale. New England has nearly always been a strongly conservative seat, and has elected a Labor member only twice, in 1906 and 1910. The farmers and woolgrowers of New England were among the earliest supporters of the Country Party, and the party and its successors the Nationals held the seat continuously from 1919 to 2001. From 1963 to 1998 it was held by Ian Sinclair, who was Nationals Leader 1984-89. The loss of the seat in 2001 to an independent, Tony Windsor, was a great shock to the Nationals. Windsor was the independent state MP for Tamworth from 1991 and easily defeated the sitting National member for New England when he decided to switch to federal politics. In 2004 he polled a majority of the two-candidate vote in all but five booths. Windsor has accused the former Nationals leader John Anderson of attempting to bribe him, although no firm evidence for this has been produced. The level of antagonism between Windsor and the Nationals is such that it is thought likely that he would support a Labor government in the event of a "hung parliament" after this year's election. It is highly unlikely that the Nationals can topple Windsor this year. Their candidate was not endorsed until July.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Brian Dettman (One Nation) is an accountant.
  • Tony Windsor (Independent) is the sitting member: see biography above.
  • Richard Witten (CEC) is retired.
  • Phil Betts (National) is the Deputy Mayor of Tamworth.
  • Luke Brand (Labor) is a spare parts interpreter in Tamworth.
  • Bruce Taylor (Greens) works with intellectually disabled people at Challenge Armidale Day Services.

    Members for New England

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